How to Build a Cat House

Cat in house

If you have a cat that likes to be outdoors, building a cat house can make her life safer and more comfortable. Even if your pet stays exclusively indoors, a cat house can provide her with a safe place to go when she wants to be alone.

How to Build a Cat House Out of Wood for Outside

If you are planning on building a cat house for outdoors, it will need to be a sturdier and better insulated structure than if you are building one for inside the house. Depending on your climate, you may need it to be resistant to rain, snow, wind or even hail.

  • The house will need to have a floor, preferably raised off the ground, to protect your cat from cold, damp conditions.
  • If you have more than one cat, make it big enough for all to use the cat house, but don't make it so big that the cats can't keep it warm with their body heat.
  • A good size for a cat house to shelter one cat is around two feet by two feet. Plan on two feet by four feet for two cats.

Materials You Will Need

  • Two 4x4 sheets of plywood cut in fourths
  • Four 2x4 studs (eight feet long)
  • Carpet scraps
  • Wood screws
  • Caulk
  • Paint


  1. Cut the 2x4 studs in two-foot lengths to form a frame for the box.
  2. Using wood screws, attach four of the studs to form a square base for the house.
  3. Attach one stud upright in each corner to make the frame for the walls.
  4. Make another square like the bottom one and attach it to the top of the box.
  5. Cover the bottom of the box with plywood.
  6. Make another frame with the last four cut studs and attach to the bottom of the box. This secondary frame will hold the floor off of the ground.
  7. Cover the sides with plywood.
  8. Line three walls and the floor inside of the house with carpet scraps.
  9. Cover the top of the house with plywood. You may want to attach this with hinges so you can clean the house out easily if needed.
  10. Cut a small opening in the front for a door.
  11. Caulk the seams of the house to seal them. Let dry.
  12. Paint the house with an exterior, all-weather paint to seal it.

In very cold climates, you may want to use tar paper or insulation covered by siding on the outside of the house.

Building Indoor Cat Houses

If you are just looking for a place for your kitty to retreat from the world for awhile, you may be looking for indoor cat house plans or plans to make a cat condo. This unit will not need to be weather tight or insulated. It just need to be a comfortable place for your pet to stretch out, relax, and take a nap when she wants to.

Indoor cat houses are usually attached to cat trees. These are created in a variety of heights and normally have platforms and shelters attached at different levels. This allows the cat to climb, play and nap just as she might if she was in the wild. Since the trees are usually covered by carpet, they give your pet a place to claw other than your furniture.

Check Your Work for Quality

When you have finished the house, run a gloved hand around the inside to check for nails or other sharp edges that could harm your cat. By making a warm, snug shelter for your cat, you can ensure her safety indoors or out.

Security for Your Cat

Whether you build a cat house for outside or a cat tree for inside, make sure you use quality materials and create a sturdy place for your pet to curl up. If the house is outside, make sure that the doorway faces the southeast so that any cold winds do not blow right inside.

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How to Build a Cat House